Re-Evaluating My Art

Lately my current projects have me re-evaluate my approach to art itself.

No matter how many times I sit back and overview my situation, I can’t help but be amazed at my own personal achievements over the past three years.

10 years ago, the idea of becoming an artist and completing a fantasy story would have been a far-fetched dream.

20 years ago, drawing and writing were nothing more than hobbies as I often created my own stories centred around Thomas the Tank Engine, who was my hero at that time.

( ( Psst, I still consider him a hero even now! ! ! ) )

30 years ago, I was born, having no idea what this beautiful blue world was all about. I always wondered who I was as a person and what I should do in life. Now, I’m comfortable in my own skin, I like who I am and what I do, and in all honesty I’ve never been happier. I know what I want to do in life;

  • to complete my own story
  • to be a successful artist

Ever since I was a toddler I’ve always liked doing scribbles of pictures on paper and even arranging words together to form a sentence. As unsophisticated as they were, it was always rewarding to see the thoughts in my head, come to life on paper. It was only recently I realised that I wanted to turn these hobbies of dreams into the real thing. It was certainly a long time coming but that is the beauty of learning and discovering things about yourself. You never stop learning.

 

Journey as an Artist

My art is getting better by the day and every new picture becomes an enjoyable project. My newest picture of Wiz from KonoSuba is gaining more attention than I expected and it made me re-evaluate myself as an artist.

Throughout the years I’ve been studying the human anatomy as well as looking at other artists for inspiration. Before, I’ve been content with random sketches and scribbles without receiving notoriety, but now I’ve been striving to improve and enjoy more of what I do, and if my works get noticed- I consider that a magnificent bonus! I will admit and say that I always did struggle visualising a scene which was why I usually just drew the anime girl herself without a foreground and background.

As of late I’ve been slowing down on my illustrations, both in the drawing sense and uploading them to public sites like DeviantArt and Pixiv. It’s partly due to the fact that I’ve been susceptible to being ill and catching colds this year. I’m even recovering from a cold as I write this. I don’t seem as bad as I was last week thankfully, I just need to keep taking it easy and go to bed at a reasonable time- night owl. It’s my own fault really for lacking discipline it’s just that I never like to put down my stylus because I enjoy what I do so much, speaking of which…

During my phase of slowing down and putting no pressure on myself, I found that I was enjoying what I’m drawing. My recent Wiz picture emulates my new approach of taking my time with each illustration, no pressure, and figure out what I want the picture to represent. Because I took my time to complete it, it came out exactly how I envisioned it. =)

Luckily I’ve got an abundance of artwork in progress and in spite of my illness I’m going through a period where I’m enjoying absolutely everything. I’m able to figure out what I want to do and how I want to achieve it and hopefully you will enjoy, or continue to enjoy, my future works. =)

 

Journey as an Author

I think it would be fair to say that my journey as a writer is a little more complex. I’ve always liked the idea of being an author but the only books I have read were the Railway Series involving Thomas the Tank Engine and Harry Potter.

For around 10 years I wanted to write a novel about this one character I created by accident, but I always struggled and was forever stuck on Chapter One. It was at that point that I decided to emulate the Harry Potter series and complete 6 books in that time. Yeah. It’s good to plan things in advance like holidays and World Cup fixtures but planning to complete a story is never a good idea. Considering the fact that I was barely able to complete the first book gave me that pressure that I created unnecessarily.

Time after time I would give up and start again…

One day I started to read heaps of manga but more significantly, Japanese Light Novels.

Light Novels were the key to opening my horizons and to improve my writing style and how to convey the plot of my story. Since then my whole attitude towards this story has changed dramatically and if you were to look back to when I started it, it’s unrecognisable. Everything about it has changed with the exception of the main character.

The biggest inspiration for this sudden bout of change is the Light Novel published by YenPress, ‘I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.’ It’s become one of my current favourite novels to read this year and I’m eagerly looking forward to Volume Two this coming August. As to why this has inspired me…

I love to create female characters, be it in art form or in written literature. I find them far easier to create than I do with men and deep down I wanted to write an all-female cast in my story but I didn’t think the idea was feasible enough. That hesitance alone hindered the progress of an idea that I was trying to build on.

However, during my inner turmoil I read this nice little story about an immortal witch who was reincarnated from another world called Azusa. The story was very simple and easy to understand but equally as enjoyable. It was only after I completed the first volume that I realised that the book itself, with the exception of one or two male extras, had an all-female cast!

This revelation struck a huge chord in my head. If the author, Kisetsu Morita, can write a light novel that comprises of an all-female cast, why can’t I?  When that came to mind a ray of endless possibilities entered my head and in the space of only a few months, I’ve not only completed one chapter, but TWO chapters! It may not seem much in the scheme of things but to me this is a humongous achievement.

Being older each day comes with the benefit of wisdom, and it doesn’t just have to happen when you turn a year older, you can become wiser in a single second of a day. I understand now what to do and what not to do… the goal right now is to finish the first book rather than complete the whole series of books. Unlike before the notion of completing my first book no longer feels impossible and I have to give my thanks to Kisetsu for giving me this huge wave of inspiration.

 

I still have a long way to go but it’s a fantastic feeling to finally get things started, both as an author and as an Artist. =)

 

Thank you for reading.

Ryan.^^/

Doki Doki Festival 2017

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Yesterday I attended the Doki Doki Festival in Manchester which is a convention based on Japanese culture.

Lately I’ve been growing as an artist and for the last few months I’ve been strongly considering having my own stall at local conventions. The thought of this makes me excited and nervous as it’s a new and unknown territory for me. I don’t know the process of this or anything about it. After much deliberation I decided to go along to a local festival to see what it was all about.

It was with great fortune that around that time I discovered Doki Doki and arranged a trip with my brother to this festival. This was a very big thing for me as I rarely organise an outing.

Going into an unfamiliar place like Doki Doki came with apprehension and anxiety. The only convention I’ve been to up to this point was Kitacon but I knew nothing about Doki Doki. All I knew is that it offers Japanese culture like live music, train society and origami and of course art stalls but that was it. How did they represent their crafts? What were the stalls like? What was the building going to be like? I already made up my mind I was going, I was going to go, enjoy myself and hopefully learn a few things.

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It really was a great experience.

I didn’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t what I expected it to be. It really was just like a convention where everyone was having fun with their friends, browsing and exploring stalls, drawing art and listen live music, not to mention Japanese cuisine which was delicious! Yum.  It was similar to Kitacon but obviously the theme was Japanese culture and not just about anime.

Initially I was overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the crowd and the loud music, both which are my weaknesses. Once I got used to the atmosphere, which was amazing, I felt more comfortable and started to mingle in the crowd and explore the stalls on my own. It was a huge bonus that I didn’t get lost, brownie points for me! Haha.

I was more relaxed and comfortable talking to people, a feat which actually surprised me and it’s only through reflection that I didn’t realise how relaxed I was. At past conventions I perhaps spoke and acted like a robot but I spoke naturally and the conversations weren’t forced. Perhaps it’s just me getting used to speaking to people on a regular basis? I don’t know the reason but it’s very good for my confidence.

I did eventually reach my limit and ended up becoming light-headed, which increased later, but I was determined to make the most of it so I ignored my own alarming radar and continued to bask in the Festival. =)

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I managed to talk to all the artists. They gave me a lot of advice about being an artist, how to start up and how convention works. Since yesterday I’ve been feeling very inspired and highly motivated about my own art work going forward. For years I have been searching for my own ‘purpose’ and at last I think I’ve found that in the form of an anime artist.

Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that I could cope having my own stall at a convention. It wasn’t easy but I did well yesterday and I don’t see any reason why I can’t handle having my own stall. I’m still growing as an artist and as a person but I feel that I can see my goal. I’m going to keep doing my best, keep producing art the best art I can and see what happens. =)

 

Thanks for reading,

Ryan.^^/

2 Years

From time to time I look at my older art and with some of them I think “you could have done that better,” and I’m confident I would. This doesn’t mean I’m not proud of my past works though, I see them as progress to the artist I am now. They remind me how I started and where I was 2 years ago.

 

So much has happened since then. I was excited when one of my pictures received one view but now, since the beginning of the year, I’ve been receiving dozens of requests. It’s the sort of thing I didn’t think could happen, the idea never truly entered my head as a possibility. I’m still amazed by it all, even when I’m receiving requests now. =)

 

I decided to take a break from requests for the time being as I’ve been working on multiple backlogs since Christmas and I’ve also had spells of being unwell perhaps due to tiredness. I have taken a couple of short breaks between requests but have now decided to take a longer break to “recharge my batteries”. I do love my drawings I just think I’ve been a bit over-enthusiastic and perhaps not rested as much as I should have.

 

I hope to produce a picture to celebrate my own personal achievement for the last two years. My initial achievement was being brave enough to share my very first picture publicly but now the other achievement is making others happy with my drawings. =)

 

Thanks for your support, everyone.^^/

My 2017 Goals

It’s a new start to a new year and I have a mind-set that’s fresh and clear. I’m already feeling positive vibes from 2017 and I’m well underway with my goals for this year.

 

Socialising and Going Out

A lot has happened throughout my life. I always struggle with crowds but things are becoming easier overtime, especially with my new mind-set. I’ve accepted my weaknesses and limitations now but I persevere when I need to, both for myself and for everyone else. Despite my anxiety going out I do feel that I’m actually a people’s person and I often find myself putting everyone’s feelings ahead of my own.

I will try to go out more but only under the right circumstances. It’s all about dealing with each moment when it’s presented to me rather than analyse possible future events.

 

My Stories

For years I’ve been writing and making amendments for my children’s story and right now its under-going another editing process. I’ve completed the first book a good number of times but it was never quite ready to be published. As a result I’ve often lost motivation and lacked ideas to change. However, this is definitely the most successful editing process I’ve ever done for this story.

I’ve polished my writing style and grammar-correcting a lot and I have to thank reading different manga and light novels for that. The only materials I can read are manga and light novels but it really does go to show that no matter what genre you read, reading makes you grow as a writer.

 

Anime Art

I’ve changed my attitude and approach to my anime art and decided to take extra time to complete each art successfully. Last year I did get in the unfortunate habit of putting a time limit on each picture. Now I have the philosophy of illustrating at my own pace which goes hand in hand with my new mind-set for this year. You could say it’s a new beginning with a better approach and from now on I will emphasize quality over quantity.

 

My Current Works in Progress

-Requests (I’m undertaking around 10 requests and nearly completed 1)

-New Game! (This is a comic style landscape that features Aoba and Hifumi)

-Gaia: Mother Goddess (a more refined version of my own character, Gaia the Elf Goddess)

-Darkness (a single portrait of the masochist knight that could feature a few versions in different clothes)

-Valentine’s Day picture (to be revealed)

-Ai-Chan (going to attempt to shade Ai-Chan in the blue chrome shading style and see how I get on)

-Keijo x One Punch Man Comic (a crossover comic that is set in the One Punch Man universe but stars Nozomi and Non from Keijo)

 

I’m enjoying all these drawings right now and I can’t wait to see how they turn out in the end. 2017 will be a great year. =)

 

Thanks for reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

Manga Girls

Nel Tu Blog Picture

Some of you may already know but I’ve created a theme called “Manga Girls” where I draw girls in black and white but colour in their hair and eyes. The idea appealed to me when I finished drawing Nozomi from Love Live! in this way and decided that I wanted to carry on this theme but under the bracket, “Manga Girls.” =)

 

I do feel that I’ve come a long way with my manga art and I do think that I keep getting better, especially when it comes to backgrounds and shading the character. I think this is because I’m choosing to take my time with one picture rather than try and cram five pictures into one day. If I don’t complete one picture today, I can look forward to completing it tomorrow, as Saitama would say “I’ll leave tomorrow’s problems to tomorrow’s me.” =)

 

I’ve got a huge list of which girls to do but I feel that it’s important for me that I don’t overwhelm myself. In the past I tried to give myself projects and it always ended badly because I gave myself way too much work to start and finish. However, I feel that this time around I’m confident enough that I will continue this theme. I created a spreadsheet in which I prioritise certain pictures and put them in categories based on importance.

 

With this system in place I don’t feel pressure, I don’t get into a head mush and I feel no signs of overwhelming myself. I almost feel like I can take on requests but there’s something about the word “request” that daunts me so I avoid drawing pictures for others unless it’s for family. I don’t mind if friends, fellow users or people suggest ideas to me of who to draw next but I know I would feel pressure if I did a “commission.”

 

This is the list of Manga Girls that I’ve done so far

Nozomi Toujou – Love Live! School Idol Project

Nozomi Kaminashi – Keijo!!!!!!!!

Tiona Hiryute – Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Rias Gremory – High School DxD

Nel Tu – Bleach x Monster Musume

 

If you have any ideas of which girl to draw next in this theme, please feel free to suggest them. You can contact me on various sites, comment below or even drop me an email.

 

Thanks for Reading. =)

Ryan.^^/